alexa A prototype microfluidic chip using fluorescent yeast for detection of toxic compounds.
Engineering

Engineering

Journal of Biosensors & Bioelectronics

Author(s): GarcaAlonso J, Greenway GM, Hardege JD, Haswell SJ

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Abstract A microfluidic chip has been developed to enable the screening of chemicals for environmental toxicity. The microfluidic approach offers several advantages over macro-scale systems for toxicity screening, including low cost and flexibility in design. This design flexibility means the chips can be produced with multiple channels or chambers which can be used to screen for different toxic compounds, or the same toxicant at different concentrations. Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing fluorescent markers are ideal candidates for the microfluidic screening system as fluorescence is emitted without the need of additional reagents. Microfluidic chips containing eight multi-parallel channels have been developed to retain yeast within the chip and allow exposure of them to toxic compounds. The recombinant yeast used was GreenScreentrade mark which expresses green fluorescent proteins when is exposed to genotoxins. After exposure of the yeast to target compounds, the fluorescence emission was detected using an inverted microscope. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons of the fluorescent emission were performed. Results indicated that fluorescent intensity per area significantly increases upon exposure to methyl-methanesulfonate, a well known genotoxic compound. The microfluidic approach reported here is an excellent tool for cell-based screening and detection of different toxicities. The device has the potential for use by industrial manufacturers to detect and reduce the production and discharge of toxic compounds, as well as to characterise already polluted environments. This article was published in Biosens Bioelectron and referenced in Journal of Biosensors & Bioelectronics

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